A workers’ compensation offer is an agreement by an insurance company or your employer to pay you some amount of compensation. The goal of such an offer is generally to resolve the workers’ compensation process permanently. Accepting such an offer may prevent you from pursuing further compensation for the injury or illness in question.
It is important that you understand the permanent nature of accepting a workers’ compensation offer and weigh carefully whether accepting such an offer is in your interest. A lawyer may be able to help you determine whether any workers’ compensation offer that you receive is fair or not.
When You May Receive a Workers’ Compensation Offer
Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §23:1271 explains that it is your right to negotiate and accept a workers’ compensation claim settlement, which may be another way of referring to a workers’ compensation offer. The statute notes that:
- The state allows parties, which may include you and your employer or insurance company, to negotiate a settlement offer if all parties are willing
- You may only negotiate such a settlement if six months or more have passed since the termination of your temporary total disability (TTD), or if you and the parties you are negotiating with agree to waive this waiting period
- In order to receive a lump sum payout, it must be shown that such a payment method is in the interest of all parties involved in the settlement
There may be other circumstances under which a workers’ compensation settlement offer is allowed and appropriate.
A workers’ compensation lawyer that understands the settlement process may be able to handle your case and negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement offer on your behalf.
Determining the Fairness of a Settlement Offer
You may generally be entitled to collect two-thirds of your regular income for the time period you are unable to work as well as coverage for your medical costs under workers’ compensation, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC).
Because of this, your lawyer may estimate the value of a fair settlement offer by determining:
- What your average weekly wages were before being injured or becoming ill from work-related circumstances
- When you stopped receiving income because of a work-related injury or illness
- The specific injury or illness that you suffer from
- The cost of medical treatment that you require for your injury or illness
- Your potential recovery time
These factors could directly impact how much workers’ compensation pay you may be able to collect and the potential value of a fair settlement offer. Your lawyer may personally handle the valuation of your workers’ compensation benefits, or they may hire an expert in such matters to determine what benefits or settlement you may be entitled to.
A Lawyer Can Take Your Claim Out of Your Hands
If you are personally injured or tending to a loved one who is seeking workers’ compensation, hiring a lawyer to handle your case may help take the burden of legal work off of your shoulders. A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to:
- Handle all of the administrative aspects of your claim, such as filing the claim itself and organizing documentation of your injuries
- Handle the collection of evidence and recording of witness accounts
- Manage communications with insurance companies, your employer, and any other parties that become involved with your workers’ compensation claim
- Evaluate the fairness of a worker’s compensation offer
- Negotiate for a new offer using evidence of the value of your case
- Give you space from the legal work of your case to focus on your recovery
If your employer or their insurance company disputes that you deserve compensation, a lawyer can also help to defend your rights against them.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers helps injured workers with workers’ compensation cases in and around Lafayette and Alexandria. Whether you are just getting started on your case, or if you have received a workers’ compensation offer and you want to evaluate its fairness, our firm may be able to help you.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777 for a free consultation on your case with a member of our team. If you qualify, we may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payment required.